Purpose and Passion: Finding the “North Star” in Business and Beyond- in conversation with Angela Mangiapane

Talking Trends
4 min readJan 18, 2024

Now more than ever, especially the younger generation, are looking at the purpose of organizations, including their ethics and values. They are holding organizations to account. And those that earn this trust — and loyalty — all have a clear and abiding purpose with leaders who are also held to account for instilling this purpose.

I was recently interviewed by CoolBrands People to discuss my leadership philosophy.

Angela, you’ve had tremendous success as a leader in finding the North Star — and helping others find it, too. What is your leadership philosophy?

“As a leader, I do my best to be clear about what I stand for, what the company stands for, and what our purpose is as a unified team. That includes defining the why and the how. Why are we doing what we’re doing? And how is that positively impacting our customers, our supply chain partners, and the community that we serve.

“Overall, I follow a situational leadership model, developed by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey. Often called “S4,” it maintains that the most effective leaders are those who can adapt their style to the situation: (S1), Telling: telling people what to do and how to do it (this is particularly effective during a crisis as no time can be wasted and clearly an articulated call to action is required) ; (S2) Selling: selling ideas to the group to get their buy-in (another word is influencing and encouraging folks toward your POV) ; (S3) Participating: enabling group members to take a more active role in decision-making (an example is getting everyone’s input before you make the final call); and (S4) Delegating: letting group members make decisions and take on the responsibility for making it happen.

“The S4 approach is particularly useful on boards, where being a board leader is often akin to walking a tightrope. You can’t get too much into the operations of how the company is being run; your role is to provide a purpose, set a clear direction, and then ensure the company is on course. But we do have moments where, as board members, we need to intervene more directly, depending on the maturity level of the organization.”

You currently serve as chair of the Economics of Mutuality (EoM) initiative. What led you to take a leadership role in this program?

“EoM resonates with my personal purpose to create a world based on mutual benefit. We have maximized the economic side of capital. However, we also need to take into consideration that value can be created or destroyed by not only looking at economic capital, but also what are we doing much more holistically and the impact we have around us. While these other value measures may be harder to tangibly quantify, there is a need to still ensure we are aware of the impact a decision will have beyond financial measures. In today’s world the workforce and society overall are looking to businesses to lead, not just as drivers of economic growth, but as organizations that are also helping solve the world’s challenges.

“EoM considers not only financial capital but also three other critical forms of capital to create long-term value: human capital, well-being in the workplace; social capital, the capacity to work collectively toward a common good; and natural capital, efficient use of environmental resources. Ultimately, purpose and profit are aligned, and companies become outcome-focused as opposed to output-driven. EoM is working to quantify these three additional capitals to ensure they can become part of the business metrics system to manage and improve company performance.

“The seeds of EoM originated in Mars in 2006 before the global financial crisis. John Mars, then the Chairman of Mars, Incorporated asked, ‘what should be the right level of profit?’ Over a decade of research was done here. It culminated not only in the publication of Completing Capitalism: Heal Business to Heal the World, by Jay Jakub and Bruno Roche, formerly of Mars, but also in the spinoff of Economics of Mutuality outside of Mars. I have the privilege of chairing EoM Solutions, the for-profit arm to continue funding for continued

research and development. Mars is currently our largest customer, but we serve many other large organizations across consumer goods, retail banking, health care, and technology.”

Thank you, Angela, for sharing with us your unique point of view.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.


A values-driven and human-centric leader, Angela Mangiapane brings to business and board service a creative transformation perspective — at the intersection of financial progress, social good, and human capital investment. She has served in a variety of leadership roles throughout her career and is currently channeling her expertise into board service. Angela is chair of Economics of Mutuality, a public interest foundation devoted to transforming the economic system through creating a mutuality of benefits among all stakeholders. She also serves as co-chair of the Conference Board, a global nonprofit “think tank,” as well as on the advisory board of SSON, a professional networking group for high-level professionals.



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